What Is The Life Expectancy Of A Person With Scleroderma?

Scleroderma is a type of rheumatic, autoimmune and chronic disease, which affects one’s body based on hardening of the connective tissues i.e. tissues responsible to strengthen organs and related body parts of a person. We know that connective tissue consists of different types of proteins, including the protein for skin collagen.

Considering this fact, scleroderma implies hardening of one’s skin.

What Is The Life Expectancy Of A Person With Scleroderma?

According to the research studies conducted by dermatologists, mean survival in case of scleroderma ranges from 10 years to 12 years after the diagnosis of patients.

However, you will find a huge variation in the survival rate based on heterogeneity associated with the severity of the problem. If you remain at the mild end of your disease spectrum, you may easily approach survival and that too up to 12 years.

Life Expectancy Depends On Monitoring And Prevention Techniques

Monitoring The Problem Of Scleroderma

  • Monitoring of clinical course in scleroderma patients is recommendable for every 3 months to 6 months period for all individuals dealing with early disease. On the other side, in case of less frequent but longstanding stable problem, doctors recommend for monitoring from 6 months to 12 months period.
  • Besides this doctors recommend for PFTs on yearly basis, which consists of lung volumes, spirometry and diffusing capability measurements.
  • In some of the cases, you have to undergo with ECG i.e. echocardiograms for the evaluation of your pulmonary artery HTN and diagnose of the interstitial lung problems.
  • Depending on your requirement, doctors recommend for various other tests and in some cases, they are specific for the adopted individual treatment options.
  • Particularly, monitoring of kidney functions, CBC and LFTs is essential in case of immune-modulatory agents.
  • Doctors suggest monitoring the WBC count after every 2-week period post infusion of your cyclophosphamide, while urinalysis at the time of cyclophosphamide therapy, as it is helpful in monitoring of hemorrhagic cystitis.
  • Prednisone medicines may increase your risk related to the precipitation of renal crisis. Because of this, you have to avoid it at high doses i.e. more than 10mg in day. In case you undergo with prednisone treatment, doctors have to taper it rapidly and thereby, perform close monitoring of blood pressure.

If any patient undergoes vasodilator treatment to deal with Raynaud phenomenon, it is essential for him/her monitoring the blood pressure to diagnose and cure hypotension. Simultaneously, the patient requires monitoring of LFTs frequently during the complete treatment with an effective endothelin-1 type of receptor antagonist.
Consistent telemetry monitoring is essential at the time of intravenous infusion titration of epoprostenol in case of digital ulcers.

In case doctors prescribe metoclopramide or any similar type of agent to deal with your severe symptoms because of gastroparesis, you have to use the same with proper caution based on its risks related to tardive dyskinesia.

A majority of skin specialists and other experts classify scleroderma as a type of autoimmune disease. Accordingly, immune system of an individual performs its functions against itself. Normally, immune system is responsible to safeguard the body by simply fighting with infections, viruses and other related foreign invaders. In case of autoimmune disease, as similar to the disease of scleroderma, immune system of individual mistakes his/her own tissues as any foreign invader and sets up protective attacks, which backfire to create skin related problems.

In case of scleroderma, cells start creating collagen, as if any there is any injury, which requires repairing. Cells never turn off in the way they should do and result in the formation of collagen in excessive amounts. Additional amount of collagen present in tissues thus avoid various body organs to perform their functions in a normal way.


To conclude, we should say that life expectancy of an individual suffering from scleroderma is approximately of 10 to 12 years. However, the numbers of years varies depends on his/her individual condition, severity of the problem and steps he/she takes to monitor various other health conditions, as discussed here.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 21, 2021

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